Monday, May 27, 2013

Start of Summer

As a child Memorial Day meant the start of the family cabin season. Grandpa built a cabin in northern Minnesota in the late 40s to be a gathering place for all the family. As a child every summer holiday meant Grandma, Grandpa, the aunts and uncles, and all the cousins were up at the cabin together enjoying the freedom that being away from the city means. Many of the other weekends were also many of us up there but something about the holiday weekend, having 3 days with my family buddies was special.

One of the most important things about about the weekends was Danish Apple Bars. My aunt brought them up to the cabin once and a tradition was started. There were very few weekends that didn't include these wonderful bars. They're like apple pie bars with vanilla icing on top. Yum!

I haven't had a chance to make them in a few year cause I know if a make a pan of them without a place to bring them, I'll eat the whole pan. They're that good! But I decided to start the summer by giving you the recipe. Trust me. Make them and you can thank me later.

Danish Apple Bars

2 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 T sugar
1 C shortening
2 Egg yolks
1/4 C milk*
1 C corn flake crumbs
6 Apples, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dash salt
4 tsp butter
2 egg whites

Powered Sugar Icing

*Amount of milk depends on size of egg yolks

Sift flour, salt, and sugar together. Cut in shortening.
Put 2 egg yolks in measuring cup and add milk to make it 1/2 C. Add dry mixture and blend with fork. Divide dough in half.
Roll 1/2 mixture to fit jelly roll pan. Top with corn flakes crumbs.
Mix apple slices, sugar, cinnamon and salt in bowl. Place in pan and dab with butter.
Roll remaining dough and place on top. Brush with beaten egg whites. Bake 400 F for 45 minutes.
Drizzle with powdered sugar icing.

Powdered Sugar Icing

1 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 T milk
Combine in small bowl. Add more milk as needed to make drizzle consistancy.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Mind is Blown!

Back in 2002 I went to my first "real" quilt show. The quilts I saw were unlike any I had seen before. Quilting wasn't limited to log cabin quilts or sunbonnet sue quilts. They had grown into an art form. That show by the Minnesota Quilt Guild opened my eyes to many new quilt artists I had never heard of before.

Sharon Schambers

Hollis Chatelain

Caryl Bryer Fallert

And Ricky Tims

There were of course many, many others I was introduced to that day and that fall when I went to the International Quilt Show in Houston.

In the years that have passed I have attended many other quilt shows and always walk away with a sense of awe at the quilts and the minds of the people who create them.

This past week I got an email asking me to fill out a questionnaire about a new movie coming out based on the book "Persian Pickle Club". I read that book many years ago so figured, why not. The questionnaire asked about my buying habits and on line habits about quilting things. Many questions were geared toward - would I buy fabric or patterns based from the movie. Easy enough questions. When I was done they gave me a free subscription to "The Quilt Show" with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims for the 8th series. I enjoyed Alex when she hosted "Simply Quilts" on HGTV and I love Ricky Tims' quilts so this was a nice little treat. At least that's what I thought.

This morning I decided to watch a couple episodes. First off, they are done very well. They may be online shows but the quality and production value is definitely high. Episode 804 & 805 are a 2 parter on how Ricky Tims creates his rhapsody quilts.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Ricky Tims goes through step by step everything he does to create a rhapsody quilt. He shares all sorts of tips and tricks to make it easier and do-able. These 2 parts are basically a 2 hour seminar by Ricky. He has the camera person move in so close you see exactly what is happening at the sewing machine. He lets you in on his award winning secrets - and yes, they are really award winning as he has many, many awards for his quilts. My mind is totally blown by these two episodes! How can I one minute look that something like Bohemian Rhapsody and think "No way could I ever do that." and the next minute be thinking about making one because it really is do-able. That's the mark of a really good teacher. Now, I have to head over to his web site and check out his teaching schedule. I think I may be in trouble here.......

Oh - I almost forgot to add. If you are interested in seeing amazing quilts in person, the MN Quilt Show is in a few weeks and this year it happens to be in Duluth. I'll be there!

MQ Quilt Show and Conference
June 13-15
Duluth, MN

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Same ole'......

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since the last post but, that's what the date says. Life at work has been one massive yuck. I'm not only doing my regular position but also covering another one since it is taking forever to find someone new. As a result, I'm trying to do 2 jobs at the same time and one of them takes great coping skills. I come home tired and not in the mood to be creative. I've been sitting each night eating fast food cause I'm too weary to cook, staring at the TV and knitting basic things. I worked on the 19 stitch afghan and a pair of garter rib socks. Both of which take no creativity, just let the brain cruise into neutral and watch the stitches appear.

The socks are done as is a lace scarf I've been working on for a few years on and off. I also decided to get some quilting done but - there's that whole "creativity sucked out of me" thing going on so I made a placemat this weekend. My quilt guild is making a bunch of Christmas placemats for Meals on Wheels and said if we each make two they'll have enough. So, one down, one to go. I still need to finish the binding and I'll get a picture when it's done.

Rumor has it an offer has been made for the other job at work but even if the person says "Yes" there's still all the starting stuff - background checks, drug test, etc. and then there's the time to train this person so I'm guessing I have 3-4 weeks left of double duty. If there's no posts during this time, forgive me. I'll catch up when I can and I'll look really hard to find my creative drive and that part of me that like to post pictures of the projects, the cats and other silly stuff, Just know that I'm not depressed or anything, just weary. Bert and Chief are doing their jobs and keeping me company and providing a great source of cuddle time. They do that better than any cats I know!